The Blues boss is impressed with the way his local star is playing at Craven Cottage and is seriously considering bringing him back next season.
Frank Lampard has revealed he sees loaned Fulham Ruben Loftus-Cheek as part of his long-term plans at Chelsea ahead of the West London derby this weekend.
Loftus-Cheek has been applauded for his recent exhibitions at local rivals Chelsea, but he will not be able to line up for Scott Parker’s side on Saturday due to the terms of his loan deal.
Still, Lampard has been following the development of the 24-year-old closely thanks to reports from the Cobham Training Center’s loan department. Lampard has said he hopes to see Loftus-Cheek return to Chelsea next season.
“He played well [against Tottenham] and I was really happy to see that because when Ruben was fit and was with us I felt like we missed him last year. And when Ruben got in shape, I was excited because I know the attributes he has and I wanted those attributes at the club, ”Lampard told reporters via Zoom.
“The conversations I had with Ruben earlier in the season were that he didn’t feel as sharp as he wanted because of a very serious injury he had (a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in May 2019).
“Could he go play games because he felt he needed games and maybe he could have regular games elsewhere.
“Seeing him play recently, I see him looking fit, fresh and strong. We know he’s an obvious talent, so it’s great. If he can keep that with any luck throughout the season and if he can get back to where he was and more then I will be very happy and he will come back as our player for sure. “
Lampard may not be ready for a meeting with Loftus-Cheek, but he will face his former England and Chelsea teammate Parker in the management dugout.
Chelsea enter the game looking to improve on a run that has only seen them win just one of their last six league games. Meanwhile, Fulham is aiming to escape the relegation zone after a draw at Tottenham.
Lampard relishes the chance to face his friend Parker on Saturday night.
“We spent time on vacation a few years ago,” Lampard told reporters. “At the time, he was working at Tottenham. It was before Fulham. But we were talking about our passion for our job and what we want to do.
“We were work friends for a while and would have kept in touch a bit outside of that, but I think once our paths both started to go towards the direction we vacationed in the same destination a few times and had lunch together and a few drinks here and there, so we’re definitely close – as far as it goes.
“Scott shouldn’t ask me for advice. We should have open discussions. It would be a two-way street because we both have our different experiences.
“We send messages from time to time. He’s a rival, but at the same time, when you have a friendship, it should win off the pitch. I can’t wait to take on the challenge of facing him because he’s a gentleman of the game without a doubt.
“The other thing with friends is that when you’re trained in this game you want to beat your friends maybe even more than sometimes you want to beat your enemies – I don’t know – but that doesn’t change a thing. terms of how you approach the game.
“I’m sure Scott won’t mind me saying that and he will feel the same. Ultimately, these are points for our teams that we both need right now. He’s doing a great job, it’s a pressure job because it’s going to be hard for them.
“We all have different expectations and at the moment the way he plays his team is doing fantastically well. I’m not surprised. I was delighted when he promoted them last season. ”
Chelsea will enter the game at Craven Cottage in ninth place, with 10 points behind Manchester United.